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We grew up in an era when smoking was considered cool. As soon as we were teens, most of us were already hooked. Why not? Shills gave out free cigarettes on campuses. Ads proudly showed cowboys and movie stars puffing away. Even The Hit Parade, the favorite teen TV show that hyped our pop music, was sponsored by Lucky Strikes. 

Then we suddenly realized cigarette smoke kills the longtime puffer and anyone else unlucky enough to have to breathe the smoke. Although cigarettes are now banned from many areas, we never thought cruise ships would join the campaign. After all, that’s why people sign up for a sea voyage, to relax and indulge in any doggone pleasure they want. Food, booze, sunning and puffing away.

Now, the major cruise lines, Princess, Carnival and Holland America will ban smoking in cabins on all the ships of all three lines by the end of the year. Princess will also include cabin balconies in the clean-air clean-up.

Dining areas on the ships will be smoke-free, but bars, dance areas and casinos will still be smoke-’em-if-you-got-’em areas. Other cruise lines already have some smoking restrictions in effect.

The rules on the three major cruise lines also come with punishment for offenders. Hey, smokers, if you’re caught sneaking a puff in smoke-free areas, they’ll tack a $250 cleaning fee to your bill. Sort of like being sent to the principal’s office after being nabbed smoking on the fire escape.

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